OnePlus says it's made the best foldable phone so far - here's why it might be right

OnePlus 11
(Image credit: Peter Hoffmann)

We now know more about OnePlus's upcoming "OnePlus Open". OnePlus CEO Pete Lau recently sat down with tech YouTuber Unbox Therapy to show off an early build of the company’s upcoming foldable smartphone.

The YouTube video doesn’t detail any of the hardware specifications or software features the rumored “OnePlus Open” will have at launch. The company is keeping its lips sealed. Instead, it focuses solely on one particular aspect of the device: its hinge. Focusing on just the hinge may sound a little strange, but it’s for a good reason as they apparently put a lot of work into it. You see, when closed, the OnePlus’ foldable will have a thin, gapless design similar to the Galaxy Z Fold 5

OnePlus foldable folded

(Image credit: Unbox Therapy/OnePlus/YouTube)

Lau explains OnePlus holds “35 patents” on the hinge alone ensuring a flat form factor. The video demonstrates the component’s strength by having a tester fold the phone closed on a piece of paper and then proceed to suspend the phone in mid-air just by holding onto the sheet. It doesn’t shift or slide off. Lau states OnePlus has further refined the hinge design over the years. Compared to the Find N2 from sister brand Oppo, the phone’s new hinge has 31 fewer components and is “37 percent smaller".

OnePlus foldable clamped on paper

(Image credit: Unbox Therapy/OnePlus/YouTube)

Perfectly balanced

Something we noticed watching Unbox Therapy’s interview is it doesn’t look like compromises were made on the smartphone’s outer screen. One of our criticisms of the Galaxy Z Fold 5 is that the cover screen is narrow. The slimmer display is a compromise Samsung made to ensure their device is “still comfortable to hold.” However, at a glance, it appears that OnePlus has managed to strike a good balance with its foldable. The outer display doesn’t look too wide or thin nor does the overall design look heavy. 

Pete Lau apparently feels quite confident in this device, boldly stating the brand is invested in “delivering the best foldable phone for the users.” We’re not sure if it’ll break any records or make it onto our best foldables list, but it has definitely piqued our interest.

Notable info

That’s pretty much it for the bulk of the sit-down interview although there are a few other things we should mention. 

First, you may notice while watching the video that the rear camera is covered up with cardboard. As stated earlier, OnePlus is keeping certain hardware specs a secret. However, a video has surfaced showing off the back of the foldable phone. We’re pretty confident in saying it’s a OnePlus device because the circular lens array is reminiscent of what you find on other models. So much for discretion. Additionally, the textured alert slider seen on the OnePlus 11 is back.

At the end of the video, Unbox Therapy asks if the company has plans or is developing a flip phone like the Galaxy Z Flip 5. Lau states they’re not working on one because they don’t have an audience big enough who would want a device with the clamshell design.

It’s unknown when the “OnePlus Open” will launch although there is speculation online it could be this month. Until then, be sure to check out TechRadar’s list of the best OnePlus phones for 2023

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Cesar Cadenas

Cesar Cadenas has been writing about the tech industry for several years now specializing in consumer electronics, entertainment devices, Windows, and the gaming industry. But he’s also passionate about smartphones, GPUs, and cybersecurity.